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Category Archives: E-Commerce

AI is bringing a new set of rules to knowledge work

Thomson Reuters – When things go digital, they start following a new set of rules. “The rules of the physical world are either not applicable or are severely diminished. Things move from sparsity to abundance, where consumption does not lead to depletion. To the contrary, the more an object is consumed, the more valuable it becomes. Cost of production and distribution is no longer critical, and the concept of inventory is no longer applicable. When things go digital, they also move from linear to exponential –  a world in which new technologies and new players can enter and dominate an industry in just a few years. Consider that each year more people take online courses offered by Harvard than the number of students who attended Harvard in its 380-year history. Each year, three times more people use online dispute resolutions to resolve disputes on eBay® than lawsuits filed in the United States. Each day, five billion videos are watched on YouTube®. For context, the first YouTube video was uploaded in 2005. I was talking to a gentleman at Facebook® recently who said, “I joined Facebook three years ago and 70 percent of the company started after me.” Talk about hyper-growth businesses! This is the environment that we operate in: Not only must we adapt, but we must help our customers adapt as well…”

Automatic Transliteration Can Help Alexa Find Data Across Language Barriers

Alexa Blog: “As Alexa-enabled devices continue to expand into new countries, finding information across languages that use different scripts becomes a more pressing challenge. For example, a Japanese music catalogue may contain names written in English or the various scripts used in Japanese — Kanji, Katakana, or Hiragana. When an Alexa customer, from anywhere in… Continue Reading

Library Acquisition Patterns: Preliminary Findings

Library Acquisition Patterns: Preliminary Findings – Katherine Daniel,  Joseph J. Esposito,  Roger C. Schonfeld – July 19, 2018 . DOI: https://doi.org/10.18665/sr.307940 “Several years ago, we set out to better understand how both library acquisition practices and the distribution patterns of publishers and vendors were evolving over time. Within the academic publishing community, there is a… Continue Reading

One more time – No, Amazon Cannot Replace Libraries

Vice: “In Saturday, Forbes published an article titled “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money,” that elicited extremely strong backlash on Twitter from librarians and library patrons alike. The article has since been taken down, though the (extremely ratioed) tweet from the author about it remains. In the article, writer Panos Mourdoukoutas argued… Continue Reading

Bloomberg – Inside Google’s Shadow Workforce

About half of Google’s workers are contractors who don’t receive the same benefits as direct employees – “Every day, tens of thousands of people stream into Google offices wearing red name badges. They eat in Google’s cafeterias, ride its commuter shuttles and work alongside its celebrated geeks. But they can’t access all of the company’s celebrated… Continue Reading

Forbes “deletes” opinion piece by economist advocating replacing public libraries with Amazon

Quartz: “On Saturday morning Forbes published an opinion piece by LIU Post economist Panos Mourdoukoutas with the headline “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money.” It quickly received enthusiastic backlash from actual American libraries and their communities. As of around 10am US eastern time this morning, the story had nearly 200,000 views, according… Continue Reading

Firefox browser adds feature to block autoplaying web audio

Engadget: “Firefox is finally joining the ranks of web browsers that block autoplaying web sounds. Mozilla’s latest Nightly builds for Firefox now include an option to mute autoplaying audio, hopefully saving you from jumping out of your seat when an obnoxious video ad makes its presence felt. It’s finer-grained than Chrome’s recently removed automatic muting,… Continue Reading

Health Insurers Increasing Data Collection on Patients and Rates are Rising

Joint reporting – ProPublica and NPR: “Without any public scrutiny, insurers and data brokers are predicting your health costs based on data about things like race, marital status, how much TV you watch, whether you pay your bills on time or even buy plus-size clothing…With little public scrutiny, the health insurance industry has joined forces… Continue Reading

Bloomberg – Jeff Bezos is now the Richest Man in Modern History

Bloomberg News – “Jeff Bezos is the richest person in modern history. The Amazon.com Inc. founder’s net worth cracked $150 billion in New York on Monday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That’s about $55 billion more than Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s second-richest person. Bezos, 54, also has topped Gates in inflation-adjusted… Continue Reading

NYT – Amazon’s Curious Case of the $2,630.52 Used Paperback

“Many booksellers on Amazon strive to sell their wares as cheaply as possible. That, after all, is usually how you make a sale in a competitive marketplace. Other merchants favor a counterintuitive approach: Mark the price up to the moon. “Zowie,” the romance author Deborah Macgillivray wrote on Twitter last month after she discovered copies… Continue Reading

Inside Facebook, Twitter and Google’s AI battle over your social lives

CNET: “When you sign up for Facebook on your phone, the app isn’t just giving you the latest updates and photos from your friends and family. In the background, it’s utilizing the phone’s gyroscope to detect subtle movements that come from breathing. It’s measuring how quickly you tap on the screen, and even looking at… Continue Reading

China Internet Report 2018

“China has twice as many internet users as the total population of the United States — and it’s growing fast. This unique collaboration between Abacus, 500 Startups, the South China Morning Post, will break down everything you need to know about China’s thriving tech industry, the big players in each field, and lay out the… Continue Reading